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M&S's Rose gets backing from shareholders

Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose has won backing from shareholders who voted against a resolution to split his dual role at the retailer, at the company’s Annual General Meeting this afternoon.

Shareholders voted on a resolution to split Rose’s dual role of chairman and chief executive, which the LAPFF felt to be against the correct code of corporate governance.

The resolution failed to get approval from the necessary 75% of shareholders - just 37.7% voted for the resolution. The resolution was therefore not carried, leaving Rose to continue with his current responsibilities, and for M&S to continue with its plans to appoint a chief executive next year before appointing an independent non-executive chairman the following year.

Earlier in the meeting deputy chairman Sir David Michels, who is leading the hunt for Rose’s successor, urged shareholders to support the retailer’s succession plans.

He said: “The board aims to be transparent and remains convinced it was the right thing to do at that time and today. The succession timetable is in place. We will announce a new chief executive during 2010. The decision is extremely important. Our aim is to develop a strong management team and recruit internally if appropriate.”

Michels also reiterated the planned timetable to replace Rose at the retailer.

“Stuart Rose will step down as chief executive at that appointment [of a new chief executive]. He will remain chairman for a suitable period for the transition, and we will then search for an independent chairman, who will be in place by summer of 2011 at the latest.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Finally Stuart Rose might now be allowed to get on with running M&S and get it back on track and find a new chief executive without all this distraction. I wonder if there would have been this much fuss over corporate governance if it had been any other retailer...

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